How to Practice an Instrument Effectively

The only way to learn how to play an instrument is to practice. And although it’s always great when you can afford to practice for hours, some people simply don’t have that much time to spare on a daily basis. If you want to improve your skills but often don’t have a lot of time, then you can follow these tips to practice more effectively.

Use a Practice Notebook

It’s completely normal to have some fun and play whatever comes to mind from time to time, but if you’re looking to improve your skills effectively, you will need to use a practice notebook. Keep in mind that your every practice session should be carefully planned. It’s also important that you clearly define what your goals are before you start practicing.

The goals that you come up with before each practice session should be broken down into small objectives. Whenever you manage to reach a certain goal, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment, which will motivate you to keep practicing. When you manage to correct an error or do something that you like, make sure to write it down in your notebook.

Organize a Jam Session

It’s a good idea to organize a jam session with your friends every once in a while. By playing with other people, you will be able to work on your improvisational skills as well as timing. On top of that, you’ll learn a few tricks from your friends, which will surely help you become better at playing.

Know Your Equipment

No matter what instrument you’re playing, it’s crucial that you have a deep understanding of the equipment. If you don’t know exactly what type of sounds your instrument is able to produce, then you won’t be able to be a good musician. For example, if you have a guitar and want to learn how to play it, you should know how important it is to have a good guitar tuner.

This piece of equipment will help you hit the right notes no matter where you’re playing. Therefore, you should make sure to research the best guitar tuners and get one that is both reliable and affordable. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t exactly spend too much money on equipment if you just got the instrument. In most cases, you’ll be able to get nearly the same results by using an affordable piece of equipment.

Practice Smarter, Not Harder

Whenever you make a mistake during practice or do something that creates an undesirable result, you should stop for a moment and try to define the problem. Think about the result you got and what you wanted to get. Remember that there’s always a better way to practice, so now that you’ve managed to identify the problem, it’s time to approach it with a few different strategies.

Don’t Start from the Beginning Every Time

It’s important that you use your time effectively, so you shouldn’t really start from the beginning every time that you make an error. Know that you’ll be tempted to playing the beginning since that’s the part you know best and you want to hear yourself play beautifully. However, doing this will only lead to you wasting time and not practicing the whole piece properly.

Pick the Right Time to Practice

If you don’t really feel like practicing then you shouldn’t, even if you have a lot of time on your hands. Practice only when you feel like you have a lot of energy and are able to think clearly and focus. It’s a good idea to keep track of the different parts of the day when you have the most energy. For some people, this is in the early morning, but for others it may be later on during the day.


It’s good to sometimes practice even when you don’t have your instrument. The next time you find yourself on a train or bus, you should think about the pieces you’ll be playing later. This will help you be prepared for when you actually do sit down and grab your instrument.

Filed under: Life

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